Communal Waste Reduction

Starting with a trial in Bridge House, the brief was simple we were no longer going to empty desk bins and instead provide larger general waste and recycling bins in central, communal areas. The results would be two-fold, firstly staff would be encouraged to take their own general waste and recycling to the communal bins where they could then make the choice to put the rubbish in the correct waste stream thus increasing the recycling rates on campus. Secondly, it would save the cleaner’s time in emptying multiple desk bins and instead they would be able to focus on cleaning.

The results and opinions on this trial have been very positive, with only 9% saying that they’re recycling less. And nearly 75% say the communal banks are aiding them to recycle more. Having learned from this, we intend to roll out this program across the campus.

Project updates

Following a successful trial with the removal of office desk bins, communications were sent out to the remaining buildings in order to preempt the removal of the rest of the office desk bins in preparation for new bins being installed. Over £40k was spent on new recycling and waste bins in an effort to further improve our recycling rates.

Project questions

What can be recycled?

Dry, clean mixed recyclables can be placed in the green recycling bins. Items you can put in these bins are:

  • Clear plastic
  • Aluminium cans
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Coffee cups that are branded as recyclable (not Costa, Starbucks or other non-recyclable kinds) – please note that these must be empty and without the lid

Anything else should be put in the general waste bin, to avoid contamination.

What can't be recycled?

Not for the recycling bin:

  • Food waste (or items contaminated with food waste)
  • Liquid
  • Coffee cups that aren’t branded as recyclable cups
  • Coffee cup lids
Can I still use my office bin?

Where possible, desk bins will be removed and either repurposed, recycled or sent to our general waste facility for them to create fuel. The cleaners will no longer empty individual bins, giving them more time to focus on other cleaning duties.

Project Status:

In Progress

Established: 2019

Project team:

Tracey Turton

Rebecca Forster